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8 pickleball rules every beginner must keep in mind

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pickleball rules for beginners
A pickleball serve. Photo/Pickleball union
  • Pickleball has tiny bits of table tennis, badminton and tennis
  • A pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide
  • It is such an amazing recreational activity among retirees

What are the pickleball rules for beginners now that the sport is garnering a lot of attention across the US and beyond?

Before we get into it all, one of the things you should know about this sport is that it has tiny bits of table tennis, badminton and tennis. All of this makeup what is now a rapidly growing sport. It is such an amazing recreational activity among retirees because it is socially engaging and easy on their bodies too.


Just like any other sport, pickleball rules for beginners are an important grasp for you to get and keep it right always. Here they are.


Always make an underhand serve from behind the baseline. The ball must land in the opposing team’s service court and must clear the net by at least 6 inches.

Understand The Pickleball Court

pickleball rules for beginners

A pickleball court. Photo/USA Pickleball

The court. A pickleball court is 44 feet long and 20 feet wide. It is divided into two equal halves by a net that is 36 inches high at the centre. There are two non-volley zones (or “kitchens”) on each side of the net, which are 7 feet long and extend from the net to the service line.

Players cannot volley (hit the ball in the air before it bounces) while standing in the kitchen. This rule prevents players from camping out at the net and hitting easy volleys.

The Kitchen

The kitchen in pickleball is the non-volley zone (NVZ), which is an area 7 feet long on either side of the net and extends from the net to the service line.

When To Volley

After the serve, players can volley the ball. Ideally, volleying means hitting the pickleball it in the air before it bounces. However, players cannot volley while standing in the kitchen.


A dink is a soft, underhand shot that is hit just over the net. Dinks are often used to keep the ball in play and to set up a volley opportunity.

The Net

The net is a very important part of pickleball. Players must be careful not to hit the ball into the net, as this will result in a loss of points.

When The Ball is Out Of Bounds

The ball is out of bounds if it lands outside the court or if it lands on the non-volley zone line.

Points Score

The first team to score 11 points wins the game, as long as they are ahead by at least 2 points. If the score is tied at 10-10, the game continues until one team wins by 2 points.


10 health benefits of pickleball

Playing Pickleball. Photo/Anytime Fitness

The main rule for pickleball rules for beginners is that only the serving team can score points. This means that the receiving team must get the “side down” and get the serve back before earning points. You earn a point when the other team commits a fault.

Moreover, engaging your body fully when playing gives you better movement and flexibility. In a nutshell, here are the basics you should always adhere to when playing pickleball.

  • You can always play as a single player or doubles
  • Only the server gets points
  • Random coin tosses are typically used to select the initial server
  • After the serve, each side of the ball must bounce once
  • Volley serves may only be delivered underhandedly
  • You must serve from beyond the baseline
  • You have to keep the ball within your own territory
  • With 11 or more points, the game is over


There are a few things you need to do for you to win a pickleball match. First, have a clear understanding of pickleball rules for beginners and take the following into account.

  1. Use a paddle that is the right size for you. Paddles come in different sizes, so it is essential to find one that is comfortable to hold and that allows you to make good contact with the ball.
  2. Practice your serves. The serve is one of the most critical shots in pickleball, so it is vital to practice it regularly.
  3. Be patient. Pickleball is a fast-paced game, but it takes time to learn the rules and develop the skills necessary to be successful. Be patient with yourself and don’t get discouraged if you don’t win every game.
  4. Enjoy as much as you can.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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